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1998 - Volume 19, Number 4, Autumn

How do I Move my Body?
Fred Vollmer, University of Bergen
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 1998, Vol. 19, No. 4, Pages 369–378, ISSN 0271–0137

What is it for me to do something is the question discussed in the present paper. It has been suggested that my doings are elicited by tryings, intentions, and other causal mechanisms. These theories do not offer any convincing analysis of what it is for me to act. Insight is sought by looking at some case studies involving temporary loss of the ability to move one’s body. What the case studies show, I conclude, is that when I move my body in the normal way, I do not first have to do something else that causes my body to move. Normal actions are events bodily beings can generate spontaneously (directly). An essential condition for having this kind of control is inside (proprioceptive) awareness of the body. When inner awareness of the body is lost, control can be taken over by visual awareness. But then movement loses its spontaneous character and depends on planning and intense concentration. One can think of the self (“I”) from which my actions flow, as the mental life to which they belong, or as the consciousness that controls them.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Fred Vollmer, Ph.D., Psychology Department, University of Bergen, Christiesgt. 12, 5015 Bergen, Norway.

Triumph of the Will”: Heidegger’s Nazism as Spiritual Pathology
Harry T. Hunt, Brock University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 1998, Vol. 19, No. 4, Pages 379–414, ISSN 0271–0137

Weber’s sociology of inner-worldly mysticism, Almaasí recent synthesis of transpersonal and psychoanalytic object relations theory, and Jung’s related metaphorical psychology of alchemy, are brought to bear on the development of Heidegger’s evocations of the felt sense of Being between 1927 and 1946, understood as the noetic core of spirituality. In particular, Heidegger’s assumption of the Nazi rectorship at Freiburg in 1933–34 is seen as a specifically spiritual crisis based on the “metapathological” grandiosity that can result from the miscarriage of self realization in inner-worldly mysticism. In Heidegger’s case, as in much contemporary spirituality, this crisis was intensified by pre-existent narcissistic vulnerabilities of character. Heidegger’s later writings are considered as expressions of a more genuine spiritual or essential realization, which, while invaluable as a conceptual framework for transpersonal psychology, nonetheless stops short of a balanced personal integration. This analysis constitutes a specific example of how the combination of transpersonal psychology and psychodynamics can be used to understand the emotional conflicts stirred up by transpersonal realization and the resultant potential for distortion in modern spiritual development, as presented by Hunt (1995b).

Requests for reprints should be sent to Harry T. Hunt, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1.

Field of View
Thomas Natsoulas
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 1998, Vol. 19, No. 4, Pages 415–436, ISSN 0271–0137

Two concepts of field of view are spelled out, the ordinary concept defined by the dictionary and the technical concept devised by Gibson and put to work in his ecological account of visual perceiving. The dictionary’s concept refers to an area of the environment taken from a particular viewpoint; from this viewpoint, there are some objects visible throughout the geographical area constituting the corresponding field of view. The technical concept refers to the total large solid angle of light that projects to an animal’s point of observation and is registrable by its ocular system. Consisting of photic energy, a Gibsonian field of view is neither a kind of experience nor a part of the ecological environment, although a field of view instantiates stimulus information specifying properties of the environment or animal and makes visual experience possible. Being a portion of the light by which we see the environment and ourselves, a field of view may not be itself a possible object of experience ó if Gibson’s account of visual perceiving is on the right track. Our visual system picks up features of the light that makes up our successive fields of view, but we thereby have visual perceptual awareness of what these photic features are nomically specific to, not of the features themselves. A concept of stream of view may be preferable to a concept of field of view, for a perceiver is typically moving, rather than occupying a point of observation.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, California 95616–8686; Email: tnatsoulas@ucdavis.edu.

Book Reviews

Making Us Crazy. DSM: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders
Book Author: Herb Kutchins and Stuart A. Kirk. New York/London: The Free Press, 1997
Reviewed by Duff Waring, York University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 1998, Vol. 19, No. 4, Pages 437–446, ISSN 0271–0137

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] The Malleus Maleficarum (James Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer, 1486/1971) was a detailed manual for Dominican witch-hunters. It codified specific criteria for identifying witches and guidelines for their application. It elaborated a system of symptoms that indicated illness caused by witchcraft (Szasz, 1970, pp. 7–8). These symptoms were seen as the visible projections of a vast and complex organization of behavior. Since the existence of witches was presupposed by those who used the manual, its criteria were confirmed repeatedly during the Inquisition. Once the Malleus was published, its diagnostic system acquired a momentum of its own and generated its own evidence (cf. Trevor–Roper, 1969, pp. 41–42 and Szasz, 1970, pp. 23, 36). Its authors saw physicians as experts at distinguishing physical illnesses from those caused by witchcraft. The authors began the manual by asserting that belief in the existence of witches is an essential part of the Catholic faith. Priests and inquisitors were not to doubt the existence of witches (Szasz, 1970, pp. 8–9, 115). Like the Malleus Maleficarum, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) is a detailed text which codifies specific criteria for identifying people who are seen as abnormal. It codifies guidelines for applying these criteria and elaborates a system of symptoms that indicates illnesses known as mental disorders. These symptoms are seen as the visible projections of a vast and complex organization of behavior. Since the existence of these disorders is presupposed by many of those who use the manual, its criteria are confirmed repeatedly in the diagnostic process. Once DSM was published (1952), its diagnostic system acquired a momentum of its own and has generated its own evidence. Its authors regard psychiatrists as experts at applying the manualís criteria. They are also seen as experts at distinguishing mental disorders from other illnesses. Belief in the existence of mental disorders is an essential part of the psychiatric faith.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Duff Waring, LL.B., 195 St. Patrick Street, Suite 301B, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4T 2Y8

The Gothic Psyche: Disintegration and Growth in Nineteenth-Century English Literature
Book Author: Matthew Brennan. Columbia, South Carolina: Camden House, 1997
Reviewed by Diana Postlethwaite, St. Olaf College
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 1998, Vol. 19, No. 4, Pages 447–450, ISSN 0271–0137

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] The notion that there are psychological sub-texts to be found in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (1847), Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) is unlikely to come as a surprise to most readers, let alone critics, of these classic novels. What’s distinctive about Matthew Brennan’s lively study of The Gothic Psyche: Disintegration and Growth in Nineteenth-Century English Literature is its thorough and systematic attempt to view these fictions through the lens of Jungian theory, in a manner mutually enlightening to both literature and psychology. “Jung’s psychological notions about dreams appear especially promising for illuminating symbolic aspects of the Gothic, and in turn the Gothic offers insights that validate Jung’s thought,” (p. 9) Brennan asserts.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Diana Postlethwaite, Ph.D., Department of English, St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Northfield, Minnesota 55057–1098.

Mind Regained
Book Author: Edward Pols. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1998
Reviewed by Joseph F. Rychlak, Loyola University of Chicago
The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Autumn 1998, Vol. 19, No. 4, Pages 451–454, ISSN 0271–0137

[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Mind Regained by Edward Pols contains an excellent analysis of what the concept of mind would signify if it were not for the historical biases emanating from philosophy and especially science. What I like best about this analysis is the fact that Professor Pols appreciates the important role played by our interpretation of causation in all this. Science has found the concept of mind to be superfluous thanks to its diminished understanding of causation. Pols makes it beautifully clear that to regain its significance in human action, mind must be understood as a real cause of things and not merely as an effect of other antecedents that thrust it lawfully or statistically along without telic drive (i.e., intention, purpose, etc.; see p. 10).

Requests for reprints should be sent Joseph F. Rychlak, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60626.

 


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